On Thursday, two consumer lawyer groups charged a request with the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Tesla's representation of their Autopilot driver help system, calling it "deceptive" and "deceptive."
The Center for Auto Safety and Consumer Watchdog sent a letter to the FTC last year on the same subject, but a spokesman for the latter said they never received a response, so it is unclear whether the agency has taken any action. A spokesperson for the FTC told Fox News Autos that it could not comment on such requests publicly. The groups also sent the updated letter to Attorney's General California, New York, Florida, Michigan, Utah, and Massachusetts.
According to Tesla's website, Autopilot "lets your car steer, accelerate and brake automatically for other vehicles and pedestrians within the lane. "
In the letter, the groups claim that there have been several accidents related to the misuse of the function since they last reached the FTC and cite a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) which found that many car owners do not fully understand features of the vehicle driver assistance systems, including Teslas Autopilot.
Tesla did not comment on the group's requests to the FTC, but issued the following statement regarding the IIHS report:
"This survey is not representative of the perception of Tesla owners or persons experienced in using Autopilot and be inaccurate to imply so much. If the IIHS is against the name & # 39; Autopilot & # 39;, they are probably against the name & # 39; Automobile. & # 39; "The statement added that the car manufacturer gives owners guidance on how to use the feature properly and that Autopilot is disabled if the vehicle determines the driver is no longer engaged.
The same day the groups announced their FTC request, security expert Captain Chelsea shared" Sully " Sullenberger a Washington Post article on Tesla's development "Full Self-Driving" feature on Twitter with the comment that it "should concern anyone who wants to share the same streets as a driver or a pedestrian," which led to a debate on the subject of tweet's commentary stream
Full Self-Driving is an option that currently allows a Tesla to change paths, pass other cars and perform other maneuvers with minimal driver interaction, however, the company announces on its website that it will be capable to recognize and respond to traffic lights and stop signs, and also provide "automatic driving in city streets" later this year. Elon Musk has also said that his self-driving capabilities can be "full of features" by the end of 2019, and full autonomous operation without supervision could be possible next year, according to regulations that allow it.
Tesla did not want to comment on the tweet, while representatives of Sullenberger did not respond to a request for him to elaborate the statement.